Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nickolas Ashford May 4, 1941 - August 22, 2011

Nickolas Ashford, was born May 4, 1941. Nickolas and wife Valerie Simpson were a husband and wife songwriting/production power team and recording artists.

Nickolas was born in Fairfield, South Carolina. He met Valerie at Harlem's White Rock Baptist Church in 1963. After having recorded unsuccessfully as a duo, they joined aspiring solo artist and former member of the Ikettes, Joshie Jo Armstead, at the Scepter/Wand label where their compositions were recorded by Ronnie Milsap ("Never Had It So Good"), Maxine Brown ("One Step At A Time"), as well as the Shirelles and Chuck Jackson. Another of the trio's songs, "Let's Go Get Stoned", gave Ray Charles a number one U.S. R&B hit in 1966. That same year Ashford & Simpson joined Motown, where their best-known songs included "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", "You're All I Need To Get By", "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing", and "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)". As performers, Ashford and Simpson's best-known song is "Solid" (1984 US and 1985 UK). The duo was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002.

Nick, passed away on Monday August 22, 2011, at the age of 70 in a New York hospital at age 70 from complications related to throat cancer.

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